Shaggy Dog # 1


So the fishing village of St. Phineas on the coast of Newfoundland lost their priest. He lived a good life, and served the community well, but one night, the house they provided for him was hit by lightning and burned to the ground, with him in it. The community was saddened, but after an appropriate time, they sent a letter to the archdiocese asking for a new minister. 

The answer came back. They would have a new minister in a week, on the condition that they had a place for him to live. Realizing they wouldn’t be able to build a house in a week, they looked outside the box for a different idea. Big Jim McNeil piped up from the back of the meeting that he had the perfect solution. The military had decommissioned a massive signal buoy. It would take a bit of work, but he was sure that it was big enough for a man to live in, and would fit in with the sea-faring history of their community.

It was a fine idea. They craned it into place and the men set to work, adding a bathroom, a wee kitchen, and added a door and a porch. When it was done and painted it was quite beautiful. The morning the minister arrived the whole town turned out to welcome him. It was smiles and laughs all around. The minister thanked the community for their hard work and took the key to his new domicile. There was a potluck. There were toasts. At the end of the evening everyone retired to their homes, including the new minister.

Now the new minister wasn’t a teetotaller, and he’d had his share. He got the door open just fine, but tripped on the lintel, fell into the bulwarks, hit his head and was dead before he crumpled onto the floor. The town found him the next day and was shocked and deeply saddened. 

The RCMP came from the next village over and took statements and did their investigation. The townsfolk gathered around the constable to hear what he had to say. 

Constable Fife looked at the crowd, and with an accent that belied his roots from away said:

"Well you know, you can’t use a buoy to do a manse job."